Enable Uninstall Chrome PWA from Settings and Control Panel

PWA Progressive Web Apps Icon 2

How to Enable Uninstall Chrome PWA from Settings and Control Panel

The ability to remove an installed PWA app using traditional methods that we covered earlier has finally become available in Google Chrome. When enabled, it allows uninstalling Progressive Web Apps with tools like Control Panel and the Settings app. It also adds the appropriate Uninstall option to the Start menu shortcut context menu for installed PWAs.

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are web apps that use modern web technologies. You can  launch them on the Desktop, and they will look like native apps. While PWAs are hosted on the Internet, the user can create a special shortcut to launch them like a regular app. Or he can install them in Windows 10 using Microsoft Store.

Besides the Microsoft Store app, Windows users can use the certain Chromium-based browsers like Edge and Chrome to install them. When the browser detects a PWA on a web site, it allows installing it right from the main menu, and with a special button that appears in the address bar.

Recently Microsoft has added the ability to uninstall PWAs from Settings and Control Panel. The similar option is now available in Google Chrome. As of this writing, you need to use Chrome Canary or Chrome Dev to get this option working.

This post will show you how to enable Uninstall for Google Chrome PWA from Settings and the Control Panel in Windows 10.

Enable Uninstall Chrome PWA from Settings and Control Panel

  1. Close Google Chrome.
  2. Right-click its desktop shortcut and select Properties from the context menu.
  3. Add a space and the --enable-features=EnableWebAppUninstallFromOsSettings line after the chrome.exe portion in the shortcut target box.
  4. Launch Google Chrome using the modified shortcut.

You are done!

Starting in Google Chrome 96.0.4664.2, the browser includes a new flag to turn on or off the above mentioned functionality. If you have that browser version or above, you can use the flag instead of the command line argument.

Using a Chrome flag

  1. Open Google Chrome.
  2. Type or copy-paste the following line into the address bar chrome://flags/#pwa-uninstall-in-windows-os and hit Enter.
  3. Select Enabled next to the Enable PWAs to register as an uninstallable app in Windows on installation using the drop-down menu.
  4. Relaunch the Chrome browser.

How to test this feature

Now, install some PWA using Google Chrome. E.g. open https://www.twitter.com and install it as an app. The browser displays a special button in the address bar for faster access to the PWA setup dialog.

After installing a PWA, right-click on its shortcut in the Start menu. You'll see the Uninstall entry in the menu.

Also, you can open the Settings app, and browse to Apps & features > Apps. There, you will find the PWA installed with Google Chrome. You will be able to uninstall it like a regular app.

The same will also work for the Control Panel applet "Uninstall a program".

That's it.


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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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